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    Brief Description: 

    Up to the end of the17th century, Irish Wolfhounds were used for hunting wolves and deer in Ireland. They were also used for hunting the wolves that infested large areas of Europe before the forests were cleared.

    Source: Irish Kennel Club

    Links to Breed Descriptions: 

    See: Irish Wolf Hound description from the Irish Kennel Club



    AKC Video Link

    View more videos on AKC's YouTube Channel


    Other Names for Breed: 
    • Irländsk varghund
    • Lévrier irlandais
    • Lebrel irlandés
    • Irischer Wolfshund
    • Irsk Ulvehund


    Country of Origin and Parent Breed Club: 

    Country of origin: Ireland

    Health and Well-Being: 

    Some sources of health information include:

    1. National kennel clubs and breed clubs (see, e.g. Breeding/Health Strategy Documents, below)
    2. Population-level statistics (see, e.g., Swedish Insurance Data, below)
    3. Research articles
    4. Breed club surveys

    Breed-Specific Articles: 

    Irish Wolfhound: Respiratory concerns: Pneumonia

    • See our article which contains a video and other information pertaining to Pneumonia and respiratory conditions in the Irish Wolfhound.

    OWNERS: If you are new to keeping IWs, please see this article - it could help you and your veterinarian to save your dog's life. 


    Breed Standards: 

    There are numerous breed standards.

    The basis of breed/conformation shows is the judging of pedigree dogs against the 'Breed Standard', which is a picture in words that describes the range of features that are deemed appropriate for the breed.

    Three of the major international standards are:

    The American Kennel Club

    The Kennel Club, UK

    FCI (Federation Cynologique Internationale)

    Breed-Specific Statistics: 

    1. Swedish Insurance Data

    • Breed-specific information on rates of disease and death from Agria Pet Insurance (Agria Djurförsäkring) is available for many breeds.
    This breed has information on Veterinary Care and Life Insurance.

    Breeding/Health Strategy Documents: 

    Health/Breeding Strategy Documents and Links:

    1. The Kennel Club, UK: Breed Watch
    2. Sweden: Breed-specific Breeding Strategies: (in Swedish) and/ or English summary
    3. Finland
    4. IWNorwayclub.pngNorway: Breeding Strategy RAS (English)





    Health Surveys




    About IWDB.ORG

    This site is made with the express intent of being a valuable source for the Irish wolfhound community. It is made by breed enthusiasts - for breed enthusiasts. IWDB is a free and open database.
    As of 6-4-2016 the database contains records on 133,856 irish wolfhounds. There are 9,523 sires and 17,747 dams in the database.
    Contact IWDB through email at

    See the presentation from the 4th IDHW...

    The Irish Wolfhound Database - Per Arne Flatberg  (*Also see the Poster)

    The Irish Wolfhound Health Group (IWHG) have released their first newsletter of 2017; there is a great article on using the IW Database!!! irishwolfhoundhealthgrouplogo2.png
    - you can find it here



    The Irish Wolfhound Health Group (UK):

    Be sure to check out the updated website Library which contains research articles and IWHG Newsletters, the  Health Surveys page  for current survey participation and News!!!

    The first IWHG Newsletter was released in October 2016.

    Don't miss the 1st newsletter with an introduction to the new IWHG services, team bios, project highlights and articles including, Do wolfhounds have a small Genepool? by Maura Lyons.

    Many thanks to Maura Lyons for sharing updates from the IWHG!pawprint15x15transparent.png


    Caring for a Wolfhound updated 2020 - for new owners - download handbook here.

                                GUIDE-Your New Irish Wolfhound_IWHG_UK.pdf


    IWHG Newsletters

    Many thanks to Gary Bogart for sharing the IWHG's March 2017 Newsletter - full of health information and features on IW's in art and media!

         Again many thanks to Gary Bogart for sharing this publication with DWN!

          Many thanks to Gary Bogart for sharing this publication with DWN!

          Many thanks to Linda Forret for sharing this publication with DWN!

         Many thanks to Mara Lyons for sharing this publication with DWN!

    Check out reporting and preliminary results from the IWHG's Breed Health surveys from September 2018 along with other info on the Breed Health Conservation Plan (BHCP), and breed health studies news.

       Many thanks to Wendy Reeves, Secretary Irish Wolfhound Health Group, for sharing this publication with DWN.

    IWHG's Summer 2019 Newsletter contains a special focus on mega-esophagus; also covered are ongoing research projects, updates on Livershunt research and heart testing, surveys and so much more is covered in this issue.

                 Many thanks to Wendy Reeves, Secretary Irish Wolfhound Health Group, for sharing this publication with DWN.

    IWHG's Autumn Newsletter invites IW fanciers to attend the Breed Health Seminar [MUST BE BOOKED IN ADVANCE, INCLUDES LUNCH AND REFRESHMENTS.To book, please email the IWHG secretary]. Held Saturday, November 9th - speakers will cover allergies and vaccines.  The upcoming seminar along with other health news on surveys, research and coverage of UC Davis's genetic diversity project fills out  the issue. 

                 Many thanks to Wendy Reeves, Secretary Irish Wolfhound Health Group, for sharing this publication with DWN.

    IWHG's Winter Newsletter features include Heart Testing Results 2019, and an overview of topics covered at the the 2019 Seminar (dermatology/allergies, vaccines, dentition...). The  presentations  from  the  Seminar  are  on  the  IWHealth Group web page and can be accessed at

                 Many thanks to Wendy Reeves, Secretary Irish Wolfhound Health Group, for sharing this publication with DWN.

    IWHG's Summer 2020 Newsletter features articles on DENTAL OCCLUSIONS* IN IRISH WOLFHOUND PUPPIES - from
    8 – 23 weeks - What is ‘normal’?,  management of dogs for Hyperacute Exertional Rhabdomyolysis (thermoregulation), links to health surveys and a program for recognition of IWs that are long lived. 

                Many thanks to Wendy Reeves, Secretary Irish Wolfhound Health Group, for sharing this publication with DWN.



    Irish Wolfhound Health Group Facebook page




    The Irish Wolfhound Club of America - health resources


    irishwolfhoundfoundationlogo.pngThe Irish Wolfhound Foundation - health articles, research studies and more resources


    Information for Researchers: The Irish Wolfhound Foundation offers funding for studies relating to Irish Wolfhounds or to sighthound-related research. 

    IW Foundation Health Studies

    IWCA National Specialty Show Presentations: presentations are now available for the benefit of all IWs and their owners


    Breed-Specific DNA Tests: 

    The Kennel Club list of DNA tests available for each breed along with an indication as to whether the test is part of the Assured Breeder Scheme (recommended or required) and whether it is recorded on the Kennel Club registration database.

    Other Breed-Specific Webpages: 



    iweiwclogo.pngThere's a list of European Irish Wolfhound clubs at the website of the Federation of European Irish Wolfhound Clubs. The list of participating clubs is available here.


    Check out the many educational and health related resources at E.I.W.C.!

    Here are just two links to past Congress presentations:





    E.I.W.C. Health Information






     The Irish Wolfhound Archives -- Courtesy of Elizabeth C. Murphy

    Breed-Specific Research: 

    Denmark: Irish Wolfhound Longevity Study


    "The Irish Wolfhound Longevity Study is a population study, aiming at establishing the status quo of the Irish Wolfhound Worldwide."

    Request for participation: information on the IW Longevity Study and contacts are available.



    Multi-country: For more information on IW Research projects see: Irish Wolfhound Research

    This article contains links to research project descriptions, participation submission forms and other relevant information from IW clubs, Foundations and other organizations.


    December 2019 - New research paper on AF is available on the IW Health Group's website: Pedigree analysis of atrial fibrillation in Irish Wolfhounds supports a high heritability with a dominant mode of inheritance

    Fousse, S., Tyrrell, W., Dentino, M. et al. Pedigree analysis of atrial fibrillation in Irish wolfhounds supports a high heritability with a dominant mode of inheritance. Canine Genet Epidemiol 6, 11 (2019).

    Breed Clubs: 

    We are listing sites for breed clubs with health or other information that might be helpful. Follow links below.


    Norway: Irsk Ulvehundklubb Norge


    USA: The Irish Wolfhound Club of America

    IW Clubs list maintained by IWCA

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